Ireland rejects EU reform treaty
Voters in Ireland have rejected the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty in a referendum by 53.4% to 46.6%.
The vote is a major blow to leaders in the 27-nation EU, which requires all its members to ratify the treaty. Only Ireland has held a public vote.
The European Commission says nations should continue to ratify the treaty, designed to streamline decision-making.
Irish PM Brian Cowen said he respected the vote but it had caused a "difficult situation" that had "no quick fix".
Leaders of the No campaign said the vote was a "great result for Ireland".
An earlier, more wide-ranging EU draft constitution failed after French and Dutch voters rejected it in 2005.
The Irish No campaign won by 862,415 votes to 752,451. Turnout was 53.1%.
Mr Cowen said: "The government accepts and respects the verdict of the Irish people."
He said he would work with other EU leaders to try to find an "agreed way forward" but that the bloc was in "uncharted territory".
"Ireland has no wish to halt the progress" of the EU, he said.
A referendum was mandatory in Ireland as the country would need to change its constitution to accommodate the treaty.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he had spoken to Mr Cowen and agreed with him that this was not a vote against the EU.
"Ireland remains committed to a strong Europe," he said.
"Ratifications should continue to take their course."
France and Germany quickly issued a joint statement expressing regret over the Irish result.
Jeez. Something as important as this and only one country in the EU let's it's citizens vote on it?